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Any of you guys with display experience in comparable aircraft have any views on the selected figure which went wrong?
The initial approach was fast and low down the A axis from north to south. Logic would dictate that the only manoeuvre suitable on that axis would be a straight loop. The quarter clover that appears to have been carried out was commenced well before the field boundary and exited at 90 degrees to the A axis going roughly NW, well to the north of the display box which strikes me as an extremely odd selection, as the exit would have been towards the higher terrain at crowd right, and be barely visible to the main crowd line.
If the figure had been commenced at crowd centre, with a left roll, the aircraft would have bust the 230m line heading towards the crowd, which makes even less sense.
The manoeuvre does appear from the very clear video evidence to have been premeditated, but because of the lack of logic, maybe a subtle control problem cannot be ruled out yet?
I speak as a civvie display pilot (piston, not jet) of some years standing and a mate of the pilot.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: stumason
Yeah, older aircraft accident investigation is always difficult. The videos will play a big role. Engine noise, etc. Interestingly they'll be able to tell if any warning lights were lit at impact from the wreckage.
An engine problem would make sense with the description of the loop. He wasn't even close to the altitude or shape of a normal loop.
In June 1998 a Hawker Hunter - similar to the one destroyed at Shoreham - crashed at Dunsfold Airfield in Surrey where the BBC filmed Top Gear - while practicing for an air show, killing its 42-year-old pilot.
During the investigation, the AAIB looked at previous incidents involving Hawker Hunters, including several incidents while the jets were still in service with the RAF.
The researchers discovered that between 1980 and 1992 there were 22 incidents involving Hawker Hunters where the jet's engines malfunctioned and caused 'unexplained power reductions'.
In some cases, the pilots automatically began the emergency process for restarting the aircraft's engine. However, if the aircraft's throttle was not completely closed when the pilot flicked a crucial switch controlling the fuel pump, too much fuel was forced into the engine, leading to its immediate destruction.
In most cases, the cause of the power reduction could not be identified.
During the 1998 crash, the AAIB believed that the pilot - who only had eight hours experience on the Hawker Hunter - may have mistakenly flicked the HPPIS switch with the throttle open.
A video has emerged showing an orange flash appear from the Hawker Hunter moments before the aircraft plunged into the A27, killing 11 people.
One expert said he was positive the flare was connected to the jet's tragic accident, adding that it 'definitely' could have contributed to the crash.
Julian Bray, an aviation security and airline operations expert, said he was almost certain the flash was a flame or flare from the aircraft - in other words the fire went out in the jet itself.
He said: 'This suggests it was a flameout, which means somehow the engine has either stopped or restarted.
'Something is definitely not right. This particular aircraft does not have an afterburner on it so usually you don't see any form of orange flare at the back.
'It's very brief but that would be enough to cut the jet completely.
'It would be enough to throw the plane out of alignment so the pilot would have to wrestle to get it back into the loop.
'It definitely could have contributed to the crash. I think it's a series of failures, but this is definitely the major one.
'The pilot would be using all his skill essentially flying a dead stick jet aircraft. Essentially he had no overall control.
'A pilot with modern day, fly-by-wire skills alone would not have been able to do this. This pilot probably saved many more lives.'
originally posted by: Zaphod58
Just before he goes over the top of the loop there's a quick flash. It appears he may have suffered a compressor stall just as he started over the top.